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Filmography - Area Studies: South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania: Burma/Myanmar

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of January 2017

Area Studies: Burma/Myanmar

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (

Note: Vietnam War and War on Terror (in Afghanistan) are addressed in specific filmographies on those topics. Feature films are also excluded from this list with the exception of a few that depict important historical events that aren’t well covered by documentaries (e.g. The Killing Fields).



Boys, toys and the big blue marble. 2008. 1 videodisc (52 min.). "Abused and exploited youngsters on different continents speak about their lives and their amusements.  They describe suffocating poverty as well as hopes and dreams.  This tough documentary, told from the boys' viewpoint, is an appraisal of childhoods destroyed by slavery, criminality, war, sexual exploitation and human stupidity" -- Container. DVD 5719

Burma diary. Ethnographic video online. 2005. 1 streaming video (55 min.). This documentary explores the revolutionary movement fighting for democracy in Burma and how young people are affected by the human rights abuses of Burma's military regime. Chronicles four years in the life of Tint Aung, a member of the student movement living in the jungle at the Thailand-Burma border. Streaming video;764139

Burma: In the Garden of the Crying Buddha. 1998. 1 streaming video (49 min.). Renamed Myanmar by its ruling junta, Burma is one of the world's poorest nations due to decades of iron-fisted military control and despite its valuable natural resources and priceless national treasures. This program presents an intriguing glimpse of Burmese life, ranging from washing the sacred Buddha at the Maha Muni Pagoda and the initiation of young Buddhist novices amid the ruins of Bagan to farming the amazing floating gardens of Lake Inle. Issues including Burma's 40-year civil war, the vital role of the railway and the cinema, and rampant smuggling are addressed as well. Streaming video

Burma VJ: reporting from a closed country. 2010. 1 videodisc (84 min.). Acclaimed filmmaker, Anders Østergaard, brings us close to the video journalists who deliver the footage. Though risking torture and life in jail, courageous young citizens of Burma live the essence of journalism as they insist on keeping up the flow of news from their closed country. Armed with small handycams the Burma VJs stop at nothing to make their reportages from the streets of Rangoon. Their material is smuggled out of the country and broadcast back into Burma via satellite and offered as free usage for international media. The whole world has witnessed single event clips made by the VJs, but for the very first time, their individual images have been carefully put together and at once, they tell a much bigger story. The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching. HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 7325

Daughters and sons: preventing child trafficking in the Golden Triangle. 2008. 1 videodisc (25 min.). A documentary about the efforts of Sompop Jantraka, founder of the Development & Education Program for Daughters and Communities (DEPDC), to combat the trafficking of children in the sex slave trade in Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Laos by convincing their families that education is a better alternative. DVD 4120

Don't fence me in. Ethnographic video online. 2004. 1 streaming video (29 min., 55 sec.). Chronicles the life of 70 year-old Karen freedom fighter Major Mary On and her people's struggle for self-determination against the military junta that dominates Burma, or Myanmar; includes rare, clandestine footage smuggled out of refugee camps along the border between Burma and Thailand. Streaming video;764185

Friends in high places.  Ethnographic video online. 2001. 1 streaming video (88 min.). Film on the central role of nats and spirit mediums in alleviating the day to day burdens of modern Burmese life. The mediums profiled in the film, chiefly gay men, are considered to be neither male nor female and are regarded by society with a curious mix of reverence and disdain. Streaming video;764215

Frontline world stories from a small planet October 31, 2006. 2006. 1 videodisc (60 min.). Reporter Evan Williams travels undercover to Burma to expose the unprecedented violence and repression being carried out by the government against its own people. Clark Boyd reports on an internet company that connects small businesses in Uganda directly with international lenders. Marco Werman reports on an eclipse observed from Libya. DVD 3156

Global Addiction: Dispatches from the War on Drugs. 1999. 1 streaming video (41 min.). Can the exploding drug trade be stemmed in the face of a rising demand in the U.S. and Europe and political accommodations and economic realities in producer countries? This program studies the drug industry in Colombia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Burma, where UN crop substitution programs are thwarted by governments unwilling or unable to crack down on drug production and by drug lords who use incentives and coercion to increase drug crop yields. The issue is made more complex by fundamentalist Islamic nations that have reconciled their strict religious beliefs with economic necessity and by the harsh programs China and Japan are using to rehabilitate the growing number of addicts. Streaming video

John Pilger. 2006. 1 videodiscs (204 min.). The Quiet Mutiny: John Pilger reveals the shifting morale and open rebellion of Western troops serving in Vietnam. Death of a nation: Pilger uncovers the shocking complicity of the US and Great Britain governments in the East Timor genocide the same governments who were willing to go to war with Saddam Hussein for his invasion of Kuwait, but who stood aside as Indonesia broke the exact same UN regulations to rape and pillage East Timor using Western arms. Inside Burma: John Pilger and David Munro go undercover in one of the world's most isolated, and extraordinary countries, Burma, which Amnesty International calls a prison without bars. They discover slave labour preparing for tourism and foreign investment. Welcome to Australia: With the run-up to the Sydney olympics, John Pilger and Alan Lowery take a studied look behind the hype and glamour surrounding the games. Australia's Aborigines remain excluded, impoverished and mistreated while their part in the brilliant history of Australia's sporting success disgracefully goes virtually unrecognized. DVD 6692

Journey into Buddhism. 2007. 1 videodisc (81 min.). Journey through legendary rivers to the greatest Buddhist temples and mystical sites of Laos, Thailand, and Burma. Explore the different cultural representations of this universal icon of inner peace. DVD 3492

The Refugee Show: The Plight of the Padaung Long-Necked People. 2007. 1 streaming video (29 min.). Thousands of ethnic Padaung have fled Burma (Myanmar) and now try to maintain their society and culture in Thailand. This program examines their customs and their dire circumstances-specifically, their economic dependence on western tourists, who come to see the elongating neck ornamentation of their women. Highlighting an ongoing struggle to preserve their heritage, several Padaung interviewees describe life without dignity, privacy, land, higher education, and the freedom to travel outside their host villages. Viewers will gain a glimpse into the fragile Padaung culture and its current environment, which, in the words of one tribal member, resembles a human zoo. Streaming video

Sisters and daughters betrayed the trafficking of women and girls and the fight to end it. 1995. 1 videodisc (28 min.). Sex trafficking is a global crisis of growing dimensions. Millions of women and young girls have been illegally transported from rural to urban areas and across national borders for the purpose of prostitution. This documentary explores the social and economic forces that drive this lucrative underground trade, and the devastating impact it has on women's lives. DVD 6001